EVO (Extra Virgin Oven) Pizzeria is the wood-fired dream of Matt McIntosh and Ricky Hacker. Matt and Ricky met while working in the illustrious kitchen at FIG in downtown Charleston in 2003. The pair spent the better part of a year forming the concept for a wood-fired pizza shop that would focus on local ingredients. In 2005 they flew the coop to start EVO.
The first incarnation was a mobile wood-fired pizza oven - in other words, a fancy trailer - that they used for catering. Turns out, people really like fancy trailer pizza. It became apparent that the concept was ready for a brick & mortar restaurant, and they found a perfect home on East Montague Avenue in North Charleston, part of the up-and-coming Park Circle area. In 2007, EVO Pizzeria fired up its ovens for the public, and hasn’t stopped since.
We come to work at EVO every day to bring fun, delicious food and drink to our community. We source locally and regionally because we’re proud to be here. We cook with love because we love to cook. And who doesn’t love pizza?
Matt McIntosh, Co-Founder
Matt hails from Decatur, IN. He got his culinary start in Charleston at Blossom Cafe in 1998, with a two year stint as a pastry chef. He went from there to McCrady’s, working banquets, before becoming the Head Artisan Baker at Normandy Farms (while also graduating Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales). While still at Normandy Farms, he started in the kitchen at FIG in 2003, where he met Ricky and developed the EVO concept. During this time, Matt also started Slow Food Charleston with Mike Lata and Celeste Albers, and studied wood fired oven building under the late Alan Scott. In 2005, the EVO mobile oven was born, and the rest is history.
Ricky Hacker, Co-Founder
Ricky came to Charleston by way of Delaware, where he started working in kitchens in 1997. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2001, and soon found himself in the Sous Chef role at FIG in 2003. There, he met Matt and developed the EVO concept. The mobile oven hit the road in 2005, and Ricky hasn’t looked back.
Abe Versprille, Operations Manager
Abe’s love for the food & bev biz bloomed from his first restaurant gig in high school. He stuck with the industry during his studies at Clemson, pursuing jobs that elevated his appreciation for quality in both food and service. Abe returned home to Charleston after Clemson and continued his restaurant work before moving to New York to take a General Manager role. Several years in New York proved sufficient, and Abe came home again to find a flourishing local food scene. He put down professional roots at EVO, and resides in Summerville with his wife, Lindsey, and young daughter, Sawyer.
Matt Connelly, Executive Chef
Matt was born and raised in central Ohio, it was there, at the age of 16 that he got his first restaurant job. He spent the next several years learning the ins and outs of the food and bev. world, quickly developing an interest in the culinary arts. Looking for a change of scenery, Matt decided to move to Charleston in 2009 to attend culinary school at The Art Institute. After graduation, Matt found himself working the line at a few local restaurants before finally landing at EVO in 2012 and then eventually cultivating him into the position of Executive Chef. Continually pushing the boundries on how to bring the fresh & local goods of the lowcountry, Matt has now been certified as a wild mushroom forger and works closely with farms to ensure a top dinning experience. Matt currently lives in West Ashley with his wife, Megan, and son, Liam.